Look, I love to ooh and ahhh over fireworks as much as anyone (actually, probably more; I’m a very enthusiastic pyrotechnics admirer). But I’ve met entirely too many people missing fingers in my lifetime, so here’s a quick fireworks safety PSA ahead of the holiday weekend.

It seems obvious to say, but here’s your reminder: fireworks can be dangerous— especially for kids, people with long hair, and those who maybe had a Yuengling or two or five along with their BBQ. Even sparklers can reach temps above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Last year over 10,000 people were treated for fireworks injuries in the US, and two thirds of those happened within a month from July 4th.

29% of those injured were kids under the age of 15. Adult supervision isn’t enough to evade danger, either: half of reported injuries happened while an adult was supervising. Your best option is to go watch a professional display, but even then be careful if it’s a small show in relatively close quarters (I once saw a man’s jacket catch a spark and ignite during a fireworks show at a festival).

Doctors in the Comprehensive Injury Center at Cincinnati Children’s, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission give the following tips on fireworks safety via Newswise:

Firework Safety


  • Observe all local laws
  • Never allow children to play with or light fireworks, even sparklers
  • Older children who decide to use fireworks should always be supervised by an adult
  • Only buy from reliable sellers
  • Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper, often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays
  • Use fireworks outdoors only
  • Always read and follow all warnings and label instructions
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and grass, and other things that may catch on fire
  • Never try to relight “dud” fireworks that have not fully functioned
  • Keep water handy (a garden hose and a bucket) in case of a malfunction or a fire
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water)
  • Never light fireworks in glass or metal containers
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people, animals, or buildings that can catch on fire
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • The lighter of the fireworks should always wear eye and ear protection and never have any part of the body over the fireworks
  • Stay away from illegal explosives
  • Use long match sticks to light the fireworks, not lighters or cigarettes
  • Never shorten or lengthen the fuse
  • Families should attend professional fireworks displays rather than using fireworks at home.
  • The AAP recommends prohibiting public sale of all fireworks, including those by mail or Internet.


Do you go to a fireworks show for the 4th or do you DIY at home?


Stock photos from depositphoto.

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